Swanee River Boys
Date of Birth: December 4, 1904
Place of Birth: Evergreen, Alabama
Date of Death: June 14, 1980
Born into a musical family (his father and two brothers were musicians) Autrey first played alto horn before switching to trumpet. He played in the band led by Charlie Johnson, then became a regular associate of Fats Waller. He recorded extensively with Waller but found time to gig with many other leading bands of the day, including those led by Fletcher Henderson and Claude Hopkins. In the early and mid-40's he was active as sideman and leader playing with Stuff Smith and Una Mae Carlisle. He was known as a robust and energetic trumpeter.
In 1954 he sustained serious injuries in a road accident but returned to playing after a layoff lasting about a year. In the 60's he was a member of the popular Saints And Sinners touring band, touring Europe in 1968 & 1969. By the 70's he was playing less but continued to perform as a singer.
Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Herman Autrey (December 4, 1904 – June 14, 1980) was an American jazz trumpeter.
Autrey was born into a musical family, and began on alto horn before taking up trumpet as a teenager and gigging locally in Pittsburgh and Florida. After some time in Florida he worked in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, where he played with Charlie Johnson in 1933. He first became well-known through Fats Waller, who hired him in 1934 after signing a new contract with Victor Records. He played alongside drummer Harry Dial, guitarist Al Casey, and reedist Gene Sedric. Autrey went on to record extensively with Waller, as well as with Fletcher Henderson and Claude Hopkins.
Autrey worked as a sideman into the 1940s, with Stuff Smith, Sammy Price, Una Mae Carlisle, and others; he also led some ensembles, which sometimes included pianist Herbie Nichols. Early in the 1950s Autrey was hurt in a car crash, sidelining his career for one year. He played with Saints & Sinners in the 1960s, including on their 1968/69 tours of Europe. In 1969 he played with "Buzzy Drootin's Jazz Family" which included Benny Morton, Herb Hall, pianist Sonny Drootin, bassist Eddie Gibbs and Buzzy on drums. In the 1970s he began to lose his playing capacity and spent more time as a vocalist.